Went here for our anniversary. We had a reservation for 6:45 on a Friday and my wife and I were looking forward to this all week. Friday afternoon I am stuck in traffic up in Gloucester when I get a call from my wife frantically telling me our dog is locked up at the Stow dog pound. My wife canceled our reservation because the animal control officer was on an emergency and couldn't let our whimpering dog out for another hour. Its a busy Friday night at 80 Thoreau so the next available is at 9PM. We're tired, hungry, no-can-do. Pretty much sums up life...and 21 years of marriage.
We get home and we're both in a lousy mood. There are no other special occasion restaurants near us worth going to. Thinking about toast and cheese for dinner, and vegging in front of the TV. Somehow we conjure up the strength to call 80 Thoreau to see if we can somehow make it still happen even if we have to sit and eat in the bar (which we actually enjoy.) I am determined to salvage the evening. They tell us there are a couple of tables free at the moment but after 7PM they can't guarantee they'll be available.
Now here is the key moment I fell in love with this restaurant (and my wife, all over again) - I never mentioned my name and we had no reservation at this point. When we got to 80 Thoreau they found two stools for us at a counter facing into the dining room - not seats facing the bartenders, not a table in the bar area. We skeptically sat by ourselves at this lonely counter. Then, as if the heavens were watching us, a waitress brought us two glasses of Champagne and wished us Happy Anniversary - an instant attitude adjuster and a truly serendipitous moment. Restaurants with service like this don't exist in the suburbs. Attention to detail and the clairvoyant sense to know your customers is something you only find at the truly fine restaurants in the city.
Then after swiftly taking our small bites and drink order, one of the maitre d's came over and quietly told us that two of the tables in the bar would soon be available and they would put us on the the waiting list for the table. 10 minutes later we were deftly transported to our cozy alcove table. All of our servers were confident, friendly, relaxed and easy to talk to. Each conversation with the many servers added to our enjoyment.
You can guess about the food and drink, excellent. Very seasonal soft shell crab, striped bass and lemon curd pie. Oh, and its true, Doris Kearns Goodwin is a regular here.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.